Green Game Jam 2021 winners announced

The winners of the 2021 Green Game Jam, organised by the UN-facilitated Playing for the Planet Alliance, have been announced.

The Green Game Jam, which seeks to highlight the critical role of forests and oceans in the fight against biodiversity loss and climate change, follows from last year’s inaugural event. The aim of the Jam is for studios to innovate on games with existing player bases, or those which are soon-to-be-released.

This year, 26 studios ranging from PC, console and mobile games entered the Jam, with brainstorming and sharing sessions between different teams taking place virtually. The teams convened in March this year for a series of educational workshops to learn more about the importance of conserving and restoring forests and oceans, the theme of this year’s Jam. Participants then submitted their “green activations” at the end of May, with the entries judged across five categories.

The winners are as follows:

Player’s Choice (voted for by the player community)
Studio: Wooga
Activation: As part of a special event in June’s Journey, players can buy in-game tree decorations, and for the trees they purchase, Wooga will pledge to plant trees in the real world. Thanks to the feature where players can visit each other’s islands, they’ll see the in-game trees planted by others.

Participants’ Choice(participating teams judging each other’s activations)
Studio: ustwo games
Activation: In an upcoming activation in Monument Valley II called “Lost Forests”, players will go on a journey of interacting with and learning about the importance of trees, encouraging them to support a forest conservation petition called Play4Forests.

Most Adoptable (concept judged by participating teams on its ability to be adopted by other games companies)
Publisher: Perp Games, Developer: Breaking Walls
Activation: In Away: The Survival Series, the planet has been devastated by global warming. To emphasise the importance of taking real-world environmental action, the developers will include a reforestation zone in-game, which is themed around the Play4Forests petition, as well as linking to the petition and playing out a unique scene from the game via an Augmented Reality integration on the game’s physical box.

First to Implement (first participant to go live with their Green Game Jam entry) 

Studio: TiMi Studio Group

Activation: With the activations already live in two games, TiMi reached players in China with engaging interactive content and educational information, guiding the players to explore the relationship between humans and nature. In Craz3 Match, where 10 million players joined in 3 weeks, TiMi Studio Group and Tencent for the Planet partnered to create a HTML5-based game campaign where players overcome challenges to save wildlife in the forest.

UNEP Choice(judged by a panel from UN Environment Programme)
Studio: Ubisoft Mainz
Activation: In Anno 1800, which takes place in the era of industrialization, players interact with and take advantage of the environment around them without repercussion. To highlight the importance of sustainability and the interdependencies of ecosystems, the team will introduce a new game mode with upside-down game rules focusing on these themes.

“This year’s Green Game Jam brought together a cadre of best-in-class game designers who’ve shown an unbelievable amount of creativity to adapt their games on the theme of restoration, and Anno 1800 really stood out from a high quality field,” said Sam Barratt, Chief of Youth, Education and Advocacy at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). “As studios now move from ideas to implementation in game, we’re excited to see how their activations create new conversations among their vast player communities, helping to inspire a future where online actions can deliver offline impact for nature.”

About Chris Wallace

Chris is MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer, joining the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can regrettably be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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